After watching tape of Sunday's thrilling comeback win over the Chiefs, Bears coach John Fox was still marveling at quarterback Jay Cutler's late-game heroics.
Cutler threw two touchdown passes in the final 3:05, including a game-winning 7-yarder to Kyle Long with :18 to play, to turn a 17-6 deficit into an 18-17 victory.
Fox has especially been impressed with Cutler's commitment to learning a new offense for the fifth time in seven seasons with the Bears under first-year coordinator Adam Gase.
"We're here to get players better and we expect our players to be receptive and do the things we ask," Fox said. "From the very beginning as far as learning the offensive system and some of the accountability it takes at the quarterback position, he's been all-in and worked real hard with the offensive staff learning the system and putting the time it takes to execute it. I think he's grown and he'll continue to grow.
"We're still six months into it from just a learning aspect, not even a practicing aspect, but I like what I've seen and I expect him to get better moving forward."
Cutler willed the Bears to victory Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium minus his top three receivers (Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Royal and Kevin White) and two veteran offensive linemen (Will Montgomery and Jermon Bushrod), all of whom are injured.
"Sometimes the mindset and the attitude that you have when you step into a huddle in that situation is critical," Fox said. "He's done a good job with it and our staff's doing a great job of preparing guys even though they might be different guys each week, getting them ready. There's a confidence level and you have to have that in those pressure moments."
Because of injuries to Bushrod and Montgomery, the Bears started second-year pro Charles Leno Jr. Jr. at left tackle and rookie third-round pick Hroniss Grasu at center. Leno entered the contest with two NFL starts, while Grasu had yet to appear in a regular-season game.
"They're on the roster for a reason," Fox said. "We expect them to be able to play and play at a high level. They're not perfect. I don't think we started as well as we finished. We have a lot of things still to work on. We're still a work in progress and that group is no different than the rest of our football team."
The injuries at receiver gave undrafted rookie Cameron Meredith another opportunity to shine and the converted college quarterback responded. Meredith had three receptions for 48 yards on the Bears' two fourth-quarter touchdown drives.
The Bears first noticed Meredith, a Chicago area product who attended Illinois State, in a pre-draft workout for local prospects.
"He's grown and gotten better as we go," Fox said. "That's kind of what we expect of everybody on the roster. Adam, the offensive staff, Mike Groh, his position coach, everybody involved has done a good job getting guys ready to play on short notice."
Fox also praised cornerback Tracy Porter, whose late third-down pass breakup enabled the Bears offense to get the ball back and score the winning TD. Porter is an eight-year veteran who won a Super Bowl with the Saints in 2008 and played for Fox with the Broncos in 2012.
Porter made his second straight start Sunday since recovering from a hamstring injury that forced him to miss the final two preseason weeks and the first two regular-season games.
"He's a football player," Fox said. "He's smart. He understands the passing game in the National Football League. He's an aware player. He's got good ball skills. He's got good transition skills. He's got skins on the wall. He's done it before and at a high level. It was just a matter of getting him healthy enough to go out there so he could perform."